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Using Pressure Decay Methodology to Detect Glovebox Glove Failures

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael E. Cournoyer, Stephen Schreiber

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

Steve D. Chunglo

Getinge la Calhene, Prescott, AZ

Paper No. ICEM2007-7018, pp. 97-102; 6 pages
  • The 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • 11th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Parts A and B
  • Bruges, Belgium, September 2–6, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4339-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3818-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


At the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium’s Facility (TA-55), various isotopes of plutonium along with other actinides are handled in a glove box environment. Data collected from 700 unplanned openings in the glovebox environment indicate that 40% of these ruptures are glove failures, openings in the glove caused by degradation of the mechanical properties over time, e.g. exposure to chemicals and nuclear materials. The primary means of minimizing these types of glove failures is through a robust glove inspection program. Through a collaborative effort with Getinge La Calhène, we have beta-tested their In-situ Glove Leak Tester (GLT2) in an active ventilation glovebox environment. This instrument tests glovebox gloves in place and uses pressure decay methodology, to tests up to four gloves at a time, in less than 5 minutes per test, and provides documentation of each test. While the GLT2 has been successful in static pressure enclosures that are possible in the pharmaceutical industry, the uninterruptible active negative pressure gloveboxes used in the nuclear industry present a new set of issues. In the following report, these issues are addressed and the limits of this technology defined, with the end result being that waste generated from glove failures has been minimized.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Pressure , Failure



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